The Buccaneers come into Sunday’s important matchup with the Houston Texans fairly healthy but two injuries in particular are concerning and will make containing Arian Foster and Ben Tate a little more difficult.
Linebacker Dekoda Watson, who is suffering from a groin injury, was held out of practice today, after being limited Thursday. Officially the Buccaneers list Watson as questionable for Sunday’s game against Houston.
LB Mason Foster isn’t listed on the injury report but may have some lingering effects from injuries he has suffered this season to both ankles. Foster and head coach Raheem Morris both said this week Foster is fine, but some questioned his health after the Bucs’ rookie linebacker appeared slow in coverage last week against the Saints.
Foster shrugged off the criticism and told PewterReport.com that Darren Sproles makes anyone chasing him appear slow and that his ankles were not a factor.
Another big loss may be Frank Okam (calf muscle injury) who is listed as doubtful and may not see action for the second week in row. With Gerald McCoy out for the season with a biceps tear, the Buccaneers signed Albert Haynesworth this week, but how much action the former Defensive Player-of-the-Year may see Sunday against Houston is unclear.
Others listed on Friday’s injury report were as follows:
QB Josh Freeman (thumb), S Tanard Jackson (hamstring), WR Mike Williams (thigh) and G Jeremy Zuttah (knee) all participated in Friday’s practice and are expected to play.
The Texans also released their injury report and had a total of 23 players listed. The Texans have ruled out S Daniel Manning and wide receiver Andre Johnson for Sunday’s contest.
Other notable names on Houston’s report were LB Brian Cushing, CB Johnathan Joseph, WR Kevin Walter and RB Ben Tate, who are all expected to be available Sunday.
The Texans rank second in the NFL in rushing averaging 155 yards per game and have arguably the best 1-2 punch in the league as Foster and Tate have combined for 1259 yards on the ground in 2011.